A good night for some football

WP_000094Well, first the news – my nephew is officially going to be red-shirted, although my sister said this morning he’ll get to travel with the team.

I attended my first University of North Alabama game last night, and Jacob was dressed out, but on the sidelines wearing a headset, sending the offensive plays in. Other than not getting to see Jacob play, it was a fantastic evening – Dad, Ms. Rachel, Elecia and I sat in Dad’s seats, and my oldest niece Jacey (also a UNA student) and her longtime boyfriend Robbie, whom we consider a member of the family, were down front.

The UNA Lions were heavily favored over Kentucky Christian, an NAIA team, and did not disappoint, rolling to a 39-0 rout. There were several times UNA was on the verge of scoring and had to settle for a field goal instead, but it didn’t seem to matter. (The kicker, in fact, tied the school record for the number of field goals in a game, with five.)

WP_000088Earlier in the week, I discovered that the web site TotalProSports.com has named Leo III and Una the best live animal mascots in all of college football, and so it was fun to see them in their mobile cage on the sidelines. (Their donation-funded $1.3 million habitat is located on the UNA campus; Braly Stadium is not actually on-campus, and I didn’t get to see the campus on this visit.)

The halftime show was also notable. UNA’s Pride of Dixie band is great on their own, but last night they had a grand finale featuring band members, color guard members, dancers and the like from scores of Alabama high schools – a total of 750 people on the field.

All in all, a fun evening, and worth not getting back to my apartment until after midnight.


T-shirts and tomato pie

I am feeding my father’s cats while he’s out of town, and when I went by the house for the first time today I discovered that he’d left me two things:
North Alabama Lions

  • A T-shirt, which I can wear this fall in support of my nephew Jacob Tucker, who’s attending UNA on a football scholarship; and,
  • A bag of home-grown tomatoes.

I won’t make it to the grocery store today, but tomorrow afternoon, you had better believe I’m going to get the fixings to make my favorite tomato pie, for which I’ve been jonesing.

Your sports update

Well, let’s check in on my quarterback nephew Jacob Tucker and the Perry County Vikings football team:

Aug. 19: Perry County 22, Forrest 7 (Bill Beasley from Cedar Grove UMC, where my father was recently interim pastor, is a terrific photographer who regularly shoots the Forrest games. “Wanted to see Jacob tonight, but not that much!” he wrote when he posted the photos.)

Aug. 26: Perry County 20, Lewis County 6

Sept. 2: Perry County 44, Cornersville 7

By my math, Perry County leads its opponents 86-20 thus far. We’ll keep you apprised as the season goes on, whether you want us to or not.

In case you were wondering

My oldest nephew is the starting quarterback, and also plays defense, for Perry County High School in Linden. He’s a junior this year; he’s been the starting quarterback since he was a freshman.

Anyway, this is the third week of their season, so let’s take a moment and add up the scores for the first three weeks, shall we?

Total points scored by my nephew’s team in three weeks: 120 (37, 50, 33)

Total points scored by their opponents in three weeks: Zero. (Zip, zilch, nada)

I just thought you might like to know.

Nephew update

I have four terrific nephews and three terrific nieces, and I am proud of all of them. On this particular occasion, I am writing about my oldest nephew, Jacob.

If you have a copy of this morning’s Tennessean handy, look at the “Scoreboard” page.

Jacob plays for Perry County High School, and like most players at 1-A schools he plays both offense and defense.

Number one in tackles, as he has been pretty much all season? Jacob Tucker, with 119.

Number three in passing, with 138 completions for 2,207 yards? Why, that would be Jacob Tucker. He’s the starting quarterback, and has been since last year, when he was a freshman.

He also makes the list for rushing, further down, with 143 carries for 726 yards.

There’s another Jacob Tucker who appears in the rankings, from the Middle Tennessee Heat, a team in Mt. Juliet. If you weren’t paying attention, you might think that Jacob Tucker was highly ranked in both passing and receiving (which would be quite a feat!).

The hardest job in football

I took a few TV production classes in college — enough to know that I would never make it as a TV director. Here is an outstanding article from The Atlantic about what it takes to direct an NFL telecast, focusing on one of the experts in the field. It’s a great read, and it gives you a new appreciation for what it takes to juggle that many images and personnel in a live, no-holds-barred event.

Big, big hat tip to the Culture Making blog.

Oh, me of little faith!

I had been checking and checking and checking for the score of tonight’s Cascade / McEwen playoff game on the TSSAA web site, and when it finally showed up I wrote a post congratulating my alma mater on a great effort — unbeaten in the regular season, and then (or so I thought) beaten in the second round of the playoffs.

But luckily I clicked “save” instead of “publish,” and I ended up going back and looking one more time at the TSSAA web site so that I could link to it. I discovered that the score had been corrected — apparently, the first person who phoned it in, or who typed it into the TSSAA’s computers, had it backwards. Cascade won tonight, beating McEwen 55-20 and advancing to the third round of the playoffs.

Congratulations Champs! I was a fool to have ever doubted you.

Catching you up

Originally, I had planned to stay home Friday night and finish studying for layspeaking class. But it had been such a long week, and my sister had driven up from Linden so that she and my nephew could go to the Cascade / Jo Byrns game. I decided to go with them. We enjoyed the outing, although obviously we were disappointed that Cascade lost.

Layspeaking class went very well today, and we stayed as scheduled within the first three chapters of the book, so I didn’t miss anything by going to the ball game. Jackie Clevenger is a great teacher, and it’s a really great group. I volunteered to do our opening devotional for the second half of the class next Saturday.

I got home tonight and did some polish work on my sermon for Cannon UMC for tomorrow. I printed out a copy, then read through it, then made a few more changes. I went to print out another copy and my ink cartridges ran out. So I dropped them off at Walgreens for re-filling (cheaper than a new cartridge but easier and — I hope — more reliable than filling them myself). Walgreens is close to my parents’ house, so I stopped by to see everyone. My sister and two of her three kids spent last night and were still there; they’ll leave later tonight. I watched more episodes of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” than a single, 45-year-old man should be forced to watch.

Eventually, I returned home, stopping by Walgreens to pick up the filled cartridges.

And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end

Well, the Champions are now 8-0, with their second shutout in a row and their third of the season. They have outscored their opponents 317-54. But it’s all prelude to next week, when they will face the other unbeaten team in Region 5A, Jo Byrns. (I assume they’re still unbeaten, although tonight’s score hasn’t posted yet at the TSSAA web site.)

UPDATE: I stand corrected! Jo Byrns lost tonight, leaving Cascade in sole possession of the Region 5A lead.